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Budget 2020 reflects feedback from thousands of Albertans and the government has listened. As your MLA I continue to hear that you are still concerned about job creation, growing our economy, protecting those who are most vulnerable while, at the same time, balancing the budget. It was encouraging to see Budget 2020 take real action to address these concerns.
Supporting Job Creation – Budget 2020 outlines a blueprint for jobs. This includes continuing with the Job Creation Tax Cut to reduce corporate taxes from 12 to 8 per cent. Once completed, Alberta’s corporate tax rate will be 30 percent lower than the next lowest province and lower than in 44 US states. It is estimated that these changes will drive investment to Alberta creating 50,000 jobs over four years.
The plan also includes increasing investment in infrastructure. The 2020 Capital Plan accelerates our already aggressive plan with a focus on infrastructure that advances jobs and economic growth. New projects worth an estimated $770M over the next three years will create approximately 3,000 new jobs by 2022.
This budget will also invest in diversifying our economy in areas such as advanced technology, artificial intelligence, medical technology and petro-chemical diversification.
Protecting the Most Vulnerable – Budget 2020 maintains budgets at record levels for health, education and core social services. Funding for health and social services is $27 billion per year or 56 per cent of total operating expenses, including programs that support Community and Social Services, Children’s Services, and Seniors and Housing. Funding for these services represents an increase of $55 million over 2019/2020 spending.
Overall K-12 education funding remains at current funding levels of $8.3 billion per year, and introduces a new funding and assurance framework. For the Calgary Public and Catholic School Boards, this means an increase of 1.2 per cent each.
Balancing the Budget – Budget 2020 continues the plan to balance the budget in a measured and responsible manner over four years. As noted in the MacKinnon report, Alberta spends far more per capita than the average of the three largest provinces. This budget continues to chart a path to balance by 2022-23 through a modest 2.8 per cent reduction over four years. With the 2020 deficit $1.2 billion lower than projected in Budget 2019, Alberta taxpayers can expect to pay $35 million less in debt servicing costs.
Balancing the budget is critical to our ability to support key programs that Albertans rely upon over the long term. Budget 2020 delivers a real plan for jobs, the economy and supporting our core social services. Taxpayers’ money should be spent on programs and not interest payments.
For more information on the budget go to https://www.alberta.ca/budget.aspx